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Gadgets

Life Logging

Technology
Life Logging
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Artifical Intelligence, Gadgets, Society, Media, Human-Machine Interface

There was a lot of excitement. It was your wedding day. The guests were all dressed up and ready to go. You had a very tight schedule today and you wanted to enjoy every minute of it. You didn’t want to miss anything and wanted to keep it recorded for future. Almost everyone had a camera. They also didn’t want to miss anything. After all they were your immediate family and have been anticipating this day for a long time. They were just as happy as you were. When you arrived in the registry office, everyone was ultra-excited. Almost simultaneously everyone started to take pictures of you and your partner. They didn’t want to miss the great shot. The problem was that now everyone was engaged in photography rather than paying attention to the event itself. You and your partner didn’t know where to look as everyone was pointing a camera at you. When the pictures came out, they didn't look as elegant as you hoped for. People were posing for a picture, but not everyone was looking at the camera. Everyone wanted to log the event, but they had to sacrifice their participation. You wished that there would come a day that you didn’t have to worry about logging your life or events, that something would automatically log them for you while you enjoyed the especial moment.

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Virtual Retinal Display

Technology
Virtual Retinal Display
Thursday, October 25, 2007
0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Computer Graphics, Gadgets, Mechanical Engineering, Electronics Engineering, Human-Machine Interface

You were still in wonder of the latest gadget you were wearing. It’s a lot lighter than your current head-mounted-display, but that’s not what has impressed you most. It’s the clarity! Everything looks so natural. You can see overlaid computer generated visuals even at the periphery of your eyes. It’s as if the overlaid features belong to the scene. The effect is even more noticeable as you move your head around. With your head-mounted-display you could only see objects when they entered the display in front of your eyes as you looked towards them and you always struggled with focus. Despite great advances since the early days, it seemed they still couldn’t get the hang of it. But now, this retinal display was such a joy to use.

Virtual retinal display works by drawing a laser raster display directly on your retina. You get to see a conventional display in front of your eyes with a large field of view. If carried out accurately, you won’t be able to tell the difference from what you see normally. Ultimately, there will be no edges, no flicker, no sense of looking at a computer display.

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Multi-Touch Displays

Technology
Multi-Touch Displays
Saturday, October 13, 2007
0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Computer Graphics, Gadgets, Media, Electronics Engineering, Human-Machine Interface

You have arranged a meeting and your visitors have just arrived. You guide them into the appropriate meeting room and after the initial greetings everyone is getting themselves prepared for the meeting to start. Naturally, you want to exchange business cards with everyone and also distribute some flyers about the projects you are doing. Everyone place their mobile phones on the Display Table at the centre of the meeting room. You simply drag all the files by your finger to the mobile phones that are placed on top of the screen. The files are copied wirelessly to their mobiles. The process is secure since only those mobiles that are physically on the screen will get the files and you know that the system will take care of the rest. Sometime later, everyone is standing next to the screen hanging on the wall. Everyone is busy rotating the 3D models so they can get a feel for this new version of the plastic toy you want to manufacture for your customer. Working simultaneously, they use their fingers and use touch gestures to interact with the screen, zooming, rotating and shaping the model as they like.

Display tables are displays that are laid out horizontally with touch sensors. The sense of touch is captured with different techniques such as camera, pressure or temperature sensors.

Since you can use touch, it is believed that you will achieve certain tasks more naturally and intuitively. For example, to do a drag and drop, you may use your finger to touch the display and move one digital object from one place to another place. You can also use the device collaboratively with someone else to exchange digital material. The beauty of this interface is that you won’t need any instructions to operate a new software service. You can use your intuition to find your way around and interact with objects displayed.

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Augmented Reality

Technology
Augmented Reality
Sunday, October 7, 2007
0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Computer Graphics, Gadgets, Human-Machine Interface

You are in a science museum wondering about the complexity of the mechanical clock in front of you. It’s simply amazing. It has got your attention. You want to know more about it. The clock is almost 100 years old, but its enormous and has so many parts. You are wondering how it actually works. What turns what, and what is that cylinder for? You switch to augmented reality to get a better idea. Now you can see the names of the components overlaid on what you see in the museum. The gears are drawn with a different colour. You make a gesture to open the box behind the face of the clock and now you can see how the gears inside look like. Then you make another gesture and the gears start rotating. Aha! Now you understand the role of that cylinder. So that’s how it works …

Augmented reality is a display system that combined the reality with virtual data. The system is interactive in real-time and virtual objects are generated and inserted into the world as 3D items. Augmented reality is strongly related to Location Based Information Delivery in terms of combining digital information with real world images. The difference is that augmented reality mainly deals with 3D objects and is interactive.

Some believe that reality, augmented reality, augmented virtuality and virtual reality, belong to a Virtuality Continuum where you may go from one extreme to another. In effect they all belong to Mixed Reality.

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Participatory Big Brother

Technology
Participatory Big Brother
Saturday, October 6, 2007
0 Comments :: Article Rating :: Gadgets, Society, Psychology

The Prime Minister is about to resign. This is big news. It’s probably the first time in history that it happened this way, but he deserves it. The incompetent man made a big mistake. You see, politicians usually underestimate the power of technology and social change and are quite slow to understand the implications of a new trend. He was on a casual tour of universities, to promote his ‘educational reform’. These days everyone is equipped with wearable camera and everything you do and say are pretty much recorded on many machines. A politician has to be extremely careful to make sure what he says is politically correct or he will have to come up with deep explanations later on. In this case, he forgot that his casual remarks about student’s capabilities, income and future may turn out to show how he thinks about the world and how out of step he is with the majority of the people. It was like a window to his soul and everyone saw that it was corrupted to the core.

With the advance of mobile devices, sophisticated sensors all networked together, we will end up with access to a vast amount of information on just about anything in real-time.

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